When you become a homeowner, there are many things to consider besides just the home itself. You are not just committing to a home, but neighbors as well. Here are some tips on how to scout out good neighbors and how to deal with sticky situations.
1. Prevent Future Problems Before You Buy
Knowing what you’re getting into before committing to a home is always the best first step. Do your research ahead of time. You want to find a home that fits your lifestyle, including the other people who live around you. It’s always a very smart idea to meet the people in the neighborhood when touring the home for the first time. Ask them any questions you have about the area, if they enjoy living there, or if they have any complaints. You can even request police reports having to do with the property and see if there have been any crimes or disturbances in the area.
2. Gracefully Deal with the First Offences
Sometimes the dog next door won’t stop barking or there is loud music playing and you can’t sleep. When things like this happen, sometimes your neighbors don’t even realize how disturbing it may be. Instead of calling the police right away, try talking with the neighbor about it first. Address the issue in a calm and kind manner and you may be surprised by the result.
If the reverse situation happens and your neighbor complains about behavior from your home, fix the behavior right away and be very kind and apologize. You can even send them an apology gift like a basket of fruit or even just a handwritten note. It’s always important to maintain great relationships with your neighbors.
3. Some Things You Can Do On Your Own
If your neighbor plays the piano all night long and you’re not getting any sleep, the first thing you may want to try is fixing the problem on your end first. For example, turn on a fan/air purifier for white noise or try some other noise cancelling tactics. Before even addressing the neighbor, you may find that it’s just easier to adjust some things that you do to make yourself more comfortable.
4. Take Legal Steps if Necessary
Your neighbor may take things too far and violate city ordinances. Don’t call the police right away. Instead, first check the laws for your city about “residential disturbances” and see if what they’re doing calls for legal action. If it does, your neighbor could either get a verbal warning, infraction, or get fined by the police. If the situation is so bad that this still does not change the outcome, it is recommended that you speak to a lawyer regarding a private nuisance lawsuit.
5. Are You Being Reasonable?
To be sure that your living situation is to your liking, it is always smart to follow the golden rule: “Always do for other people everything you want them to do for you.” If you don’t want loud music playing from next door, don’t play loud music yourself. Be considerate of the other people around you and think about how your actions may affect others. These actions may include keeping your yard tidy, controlling any pets, be considerate when parking, and be aware of noise coming from your home.
6. Moving On
If the day ever comes where you’re still not comfortable in your own home and your neighbors have caused too many issues, it might be the best decision to take your business elsewhere. Maybe the above tactics didn’t work for you and you’ve run out of options. Just remember that there’s always the option to move into a place where you truly feel comfortable and at home.